Pancreatitis wasn’t the only medical problem that Matthew Perry suffered due to his excessive substance use. In 2018, his rep issued a statement to ET to reveal that a “gastrointestinal perforation” led to the actor undergoing surgery.
In his memoir, Perry confessed that the operation resulted from his dependence on pills. “I had been on opiates, and off opiates, and back on different opiates for so long that I suffered from a situation that only a subset of the population gets,” Perry wrote. “Opiates cause constipation,” he explained, revealing he’d become so impacted that his colon had ruptured. The end result was more than a dozen surgeries, a five-month hospital stay, and two weeks in a coma. “The doctors told my family that I had a two percent chance to live,” he told People. “I was put on a thing called an ECMO machine, which does all the breathing for your heart and your lungs. And that’s called a Hail Mary. No one survives that.”
Afterward, Perry spent nine months using a colostomy bag — something that later became a motivating factor in helping him to avoid relapsing. “My therapist said to me, ‘The next time you think about OxyContin, I want you to think about living out the rest of your days with a colostomy bag,'” wrote Perry in “Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing.” “… What he said caused a very small window to open, and I crawled through it. And on the other side was a life without OxyContin.”